Welcoming The New Year In Style

So Brad has lived in his the apartment for over a year and I have been there since September.  After a little debate we decided to renew our lease for another 10 months, because we are lazy have enjoyed our location and the apartment.  With the signing of the new lease we figured it was time to give in and buy a dining room table.  We had been putting it off, because we are lazy our dining area is not a large space, but we figured ringing in the New Year was as good excuse as any.

I had been browsing online over the past few weeks, but was hesitant to buy something without seeing what it looked like in person.  Yesterday, I drug Bradley away from the RedZone channel (horrible girlfriend, I know) and we went on a hunt for the perfect table.  We stopped at 3 different places and pulled the trigger at Furniture Connection.  They were having a big end of the year sale, which we definitely benefited from and picked out this little gem.

They gave us the option of waiting for them to bring it to us or running out to their warehouse and picking it up ourselves.  Not sure if Bradley was happy with my decision, but I voted for picking it up and putting it together that day! What can I say, I am impatient sometimes all the time.

Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

The table was the easy part, it was the chairs that were annnnnoying! 

Or maybe I was the annoying one?! Who's to say?

So helpful. 

The finished product! 

I am (and I hope Bradley is too) super happy with our choice.  Originally we thought we wanted an all black table to go with the rest of our furniture, but after a last minute, hot route we picked the multicolored table and think it was the right choice. It adds a little more variation to our living space and gives the room a little more pop, I think.  Plus, as much as I enjoy eating dinner on the couch, in front of the TV, I am going to love having the table, especially for entertaining, like we will be this evening for NYE!  I have already started browsing Pinterest for cute center piece ideas.  Something along the lines of this might just be perfection. 

Happy NYE! 

<3 BB 


Hitting the Links!

Happy Friday ! Let's get to some links!

First up: 20 reasons why New Years Eve is the worst.

With that being said, I am planning on going out to dinner on NYE and want to wear sequins. Classy sequins though - like this or this, maybe even this, but not slutty sequins like this.

If you have 2 hours 49 mins. and 55 secs. to kill watch the 25th anniversary of Les Misérables .... Or go watch it in theaters like I am planning to this weekend! Or shoot, go big and do both :) 

Important things to worry about.

The 10 essentials for any good relationship.

Know this band in 2013.

People are dumb and unappreciative.  Don't be like these people.

My girl crush, Jennifer Lawrence's, top quotes of 2012.

Low key weekend is on the agenda, which is definitely needed after all the Christmas Cheer I had this past week. Plus, I have to start mentally preparing to stay up until Midnight on New Years Eve.  Not an easy task for this girl! Gotta rest up!

Cheers to Friday!

<3 BB


Home Alone...

...And I am not talking about the Christmas Movie.  Brad has been gone for the past 6 days celebrating the Holidays with his family in Indiana which has lead me to fend for myself in the apartment. (By that I mean, I left for a few of the nights and stayed with family or had my sister stay with me.)

I finally had to give in and stay alone on Christmas night, because I had work bright and early yesterday.  Now, I am not sure if many of you know this about me, but I am kind of a huge baby.  I always have been.  I hate scary movies and TV shows, I hide behind pillows, and they ALWAYS give me nightmares.  Plus, I panic, laugh, and cry all at the same time when I get startled.

So, it is really no surprise that I have never lived alone and don't like staying alone either.  Anytime I am forced to stay alone I am fine until right before bedtime.  I always get myself really worked up right before bed and create a scene from Criminal Minds as I start to fall asleep. Makes for a great night's sleep.  You should try it sometime, really!

My logic as a child was to pack as many pillows around me, so the bad guy would maybe not even realize I was in the bed.  Evidently that hasn't changed, because with Brad gone I currently have 7 pillows on the bed (not even exaggerating that number).

I'd like to think my bed looks like this:

but I wake up and it looks a lot more like this:

The best investment one of my college roommates and I ever made was purchasing L-Shaped Body Pillows similar to this from QVC:

I don't think they sell them any more, but I did find close alternatives on Amazon. It is the perfect cuddler and is also big enough to hide you from any intruder.  Win, Win!

Cross you fingers Brad's flight doesn't get canceled with all the bad weather they are having back East, because I don't know if I can handle another night alone in the big scary apartment out in the quiet burbs of Raleigh Hills.

Does anyone else have trouble staying alone or am I just a big scaredy-cat?


<3 BB


Christmas Cookies!

Does anyone else feel like they were slapped in the face with Christmas and it is now gone all too soon?  I am sad it is over already, but had a wonderful Holiday that was spent with family.  We opened presents, went to Midnight Mass, and ate wayyyyy too many of these cookies...

  Swedish Cream Wafers. YUM. 

Now, I would like to pretend that this Swedish Cream Wafer recipe has been passed down for generations and generations in just our family only, but after a quick Google search, it looks like that is not the case (insert sad face).  Either way, this is probably the world's most perfect cookie that has been made every Christmas.

I mean, what more can you ask for, really? 

Perfect Frosting: check 
Pie like cookie: check 
Sandwich form: check 
Melt in your mouth delicious: check 

Our tradition is to bake the cookies a day or two early to make sure they get a chance to cool over night and  then frost them on Christmas Eve while we wait to go to church. 

Make that dough roll.  

cookie avalanche.  

 I tried to sneak in as many pictures as possible to make it look like I did something other than just eat the cookies. Mom informed me I had poor frosting form, because I was holding the knife wrong and did not add enough frosting for her taste.

Totally posing.  

The highlight of this year's cookie making was the addition of Winter Blue frosting. Normally we just go for the red and green, but I have to say the blue might have stolen the show. 

There are still plenty of leftover cookies at Grandma's, so stop by to steal some and say hi and maybe she'll share! 

Cheers to Christmas Cookies! 

<3 BB 


Cheers To Christmas Eve!

Ready or not Christmas Eve has arrived!!! This girl is excited and ready to spend some serious time with the best family in the world. Our family has plenty of traditions, starting with cookie making last night at my Aunt's. My shopping is done and the workout is in the books, so now it's time to eat, eat, and eat before heading to our midnight church service where the fambam will take up two entire pews. Then we'll head back to Grandma and Grandpa's to open our Christmas PJs, which might be my favorite part of Christmas. (The one year my mom did not get my siblings and I PJs was tragic and she made sure it never happened again.)

Hope you have a great holiday :)


<3 BB


Hope and Heroes

Today, one week after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy,  I am not here to share my thoughts on gun control, mental illness, or whether or not we should release the names of people that commit these horrible acts.  Instead, I wanted to remember the victims, as well as share the heroes' stories, love, and hope.

Remember the victims.

Show the world there are real life heroes.

Spread love and more love.

Always have hope.

source: BuzzFeed 

At the end of the day it is simple, really - be kind to those you are close to and especially those you are not.  Enjoy your Holiday weekend.  I hope everyone gets to spend it with the ones they love :)

<3 BB

PS.  Hop over to Kait's blog to find out ways you can help the town of Newtown, Conn.


Beauty Review :: BeautyBlender

Not sure if you guys are like me when it comes to beauty products, but I do this thing where I am no good with make-up and yet I still want to buy products all the time.  I am a lot like Jenna Marbles when it comes to beauty products, definitely a goo-hoarder.  Brad is amazed by how cluttered the medicine cabinet became once I moved in. The way I see it is, if I have a new, different productive it will magically make my face look like a movie star's! ta-da!

Anyways, my most recent purchase came in the mail yesterday!  I had been hearing good things about the BeautyBlender, but was a little hesitant to purchase it, because at Sephora they charge 19.95 for it and you're supposed to buy cleaner along with it.  However, when I saw it was cheaper on Amazon, I decided to pull the trigger.  (Also, I opted to not buy the cleaner, because I saw online if you use a tiny bit of soap and warm water it does the trick.)

Now, like I said before, I really have no idea what I am actually doing when it comes to makeup.  My makeup collection is a mix of higher end products like MAC foundation and then drug store finds like this BB Cream.  Essentially, I try and do enough to control my inner-13 year old's acne problem, all the while not looking like a clown.  My biggest challenge though is by the end of the day my 'flawless' morning makeup looks more like this...

Adam, why so much makeup?!

Ok, not really, but it just doesn't look as smooth and natural as I would like. All the reviews I read / YouTube tutorials I watched said that the BeautyBlender definitely helps with that problem and I have to say I agree.

This video does a great job of showing how to use it properly.

Now, I have only used the BB once so far, but I think I am going to be a big fan of it.  It doesn't soak up all your expensive foundation in one use and it helps blot/roll it on your face, as opposed to using your oily hand or a brush that can leave your face full of paint brush swipes.... And I assume my face now looks like it has an airbrush finish to it - but who's to say, I didn't actually look in the mirror after I applied it ;)

Cheers to Beauty!

<3 BB



ZooLights - Take 2.  I say Take 2 because a group of us tried to go a few weekends ago and the line to just purchase your tickets was over an hour wait.  As much as I love Christmas lights, we quickly decided to abort that mission.  So, last night we tried again!  My cousin Kyndra, her friend Kris, Bradley, and I all bundled up some of us bundled more than others. and checked out some awesome Christmas lights. I guess a little snow in the forecast will cause people to stay inside, which worked in our favor, because there was hardly a line last night. 

We rode the train, got hot chocolate and cookies, and tried to walk briskly to keep from getting frost bite. 

Bonus for me: Kris is a photographer so he tried to give me a few pointers.  Pointer number one: taking photos at night is kind of hard.

This might have been my favorite.

It had a 3D affect going on when you were looking at it.

Ok, does anyone else think that looks like a monkey? The costume, not Brad.  Bradley of course asked if he could take a picture with the horse and the ZooLights volunteer quickly corrected him by saying it was a cow.  We were all wrong in guessing what animal it actually was.

He also asked if he could get a picture with the unicorns.  How could I tell that face no?

Unicorns and glitttttter!  (name that reference)

Sometimes all times Brad does not like to corporate for pictures and that happens.

This was take 3.  I finally gave up and said I would post his awkward photos if he wasn't going to behave. I imagine this is what my mom felt like when my dad and brothers never smiled in pictures growing up. There are a lot of pictures from the 90s where they are not smiling.  My guess is she gave up too.  

Anyways, the ZooLights are going to be on display for a little while longer.  I suggest you check them out on a week night to get a little less of a crowd.


<3 BB

PS. The reference I was referring to earlier was the Progressive commercial. Gotta love Flo... and glitter.


One Week Till Christmas!

Since it is officially one week until Christmas and it is currently snowing outside, I figured some Christmas music was fitting!!!!!!!  Also, you should probably either make your own or purchase some hot choc.  And for the record - it is hard to pick a favorite Christmas songs list.  I LOVE THEM ALL. I will probably post this and then realize I left out at least 7 other great ones... but this will at least get you started!

Bing Crosby :: White Christmas
White Christmas is fitting right now since Portland is getting snow.  I grew up having snow a lot of the winter, so it's always nice when I get a tiny bit in Portland.

Nat King Cole :: The Christmas Song
Turkey always helps make the season bright.

Chris Brown :: This Christmas 
You can have your opinions about Chris Brown (I am sure most are not that kind), but it doesn't really change the fact that this song is catchy.

Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone :: Baby It's Cold Outside
There is just something about this version I just love.  Maybe it's Leon's voice, maybe it's because it's from Elf.  Either way it makes me smile.

Boyz II Men :: Silent Night 
When I was growing up my dad was kind of an OG (original gangster) and had the Boyz II Men Christmas CD.  This was always my favorite on the album.

Neil Diamond :: The Little Drummer Boy
For the record my parents had an odd variety when it came to Christmas Albums.  They also had Neil Diamond's and The Little Drummer Boy is one of my dad's favorite Christmas songs.  This version always reminds me of sitting in traffic driving home from my Grandparent's after Thanksgiving.

Straight No Chaser ;: 12 Days of Christmas 
Obviously, the best part of this song is when they break into AFRICA! Toto did it right with that song. 

Mariah Carey :: All I Want For Christmas Is You 
How could I not include this on my list of favorites!

I could keep going, but I will leave you with Mariah stuck in your head the rest of the day! What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?!


<3 BB


Happy One Week Till Christmas Eve!

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Oh Man! I am in full Christmas Cheer Mode.  One week till Christmas Eve, are you kidding me?! It's going to be gone before I know it.  Gotta soak it up while I can!

Now with all that Christmas Cheer I have, one would think I spent my weekend doing awesome Holiday Festivities..but I didn't.  I have no fun updates from the weekend.  Like zero, nada, null... you get the idea. Brad and I were lazy - as in spent almost 10 hours on the couch Saturday and close to that same amount on Sunday. We watched movies and enjoyed our Christmas tree and fireplace!  Real cool 20somethings, I know.

More or less my view for the entire weekend. 

I must say, I definitely needed the rest. I was still working on getting over a cold and just plain tired.  We knew going into the weekend we wanted to be low key.  However, by the end of it, I somehow felt even more lethargic than before I started the resting period.  My evening workouts were sub-par and my body felt like I was a bear coming out of hibernation; it just didn't want to cooperate. And even though I forced myself through a good ab workout and cardio on Saturday including a 3 min. plank and a deck of cards workout and cardio on Sunday, it felt like I was just going through the motions, torturous motions.

It made me realize that rest is a good thing, but only in moderation.  Kind of like everything else in life, I suppose.  It also made me understand how easy it is to make being lazy a habit.  Being that sedentary, not only affects your body, but it also affects your mind.  It made me lose motivation to be productive and also made my body sore and stiff - which did not help my already lacking motivation. It was a good lesson for me  and forced me to get my butt up for an early morning cardio session before work so I can go to dinner with this little lady, her mom, and her kiddo.  That was until Brad and I blew a fuse in our apartment's fitness center.  Who knew having two treadmills going at a running pace kills the power?!

Brad's highlight my lowlight of the weekend had to be when he scared me as I walked out of the bathroom.  Felt like this guy.  Now there is not video proof or anything, but I might have gotten a little panicky and started to cry, while laughing and cursing at Bradley all at the same time.  Hate when he does that to me. Am I the only one that gets that startled?!

Cheers to the Countdown to Christmas!

<3 BB


Gift Guide for the FitFluential

Brad and I got a great / quick circuit workout in last night, which was supposed to feature a jump rope portion.  Neither of us own a jump rope and improvised, but Brad commented on how he should put that on his gift list. This got me to thinking what items I would put on my wish list when it comes to the fitness side of life. Plus, when it comes to workout gear and accessories, I tend to not ever feel guilty about these purchases, because they are bettering my health, mind, and body!!!  

Nike Sweatshirt: Gotta stay warm and cute to and from the gym, this sweatshirt does just that.

Nike Lunar Glides +4 Shield: The added shield protection makes these shoes water resistant, which is perfect for anyone running in the NDub (aka Northwest).  Plus, the Lunar Glides come in both men's and women's styles.

Nike Relay Running Capris: You can never have enough running tights. The end.

Jump Rope: Jump roping is not just for children.  You can get a solid cardio workout with a good jump rope.

FlipBelt: The flip belt might be one of the smartest ideas to come through the fitness world in a while, especially for outdoor running.  It lets you hide your valuables securely so they aren't bouncing around in your pocket or sports bra

Smart Touch Running Gloves:  More or less a necessity during the winter months, when it's freezing, but you still want to be able to change your tunes.

Wang Buds: Speaking of tunes, headphones are a great gift, at least for me, because I tend to always break my headphones, but hate spending money on them.

Nike Fuel Band:  I know I posted this in my Tech Savvy gift guide, but it's just that cool.  It is definitely on my wish list...Either that or I will steal the Boy's (Which is sounding like a cheaper alternative for all parties involved)

PS: Here is the workout we did last night if you're feeling strong! 

For time: (with a 35min cut off)

50 x double unders* --- we substituted tuck jumps**, because we did not have a Jump Rope. Rest 1 minute

50 x sit ups
Rest 2 minutes
50 x pull ups
Rest 3 minutes
50 x push ups
Rest 4 minutes
50 x squats
rest 5 minutes
50 x burpees

*here is what a double under is.
** here is what a tuck jump is.

Including the rest time, Brad finished the workout in 24:31 and I finished in 28:35.  The burpees at the end were the hardest part for sure.

Cheers to Giving the Gift of Fitness!

<3 BB


Gift Guide for the Tech Savvy

Most people these days have some sort of cool tech gadget - whether it be a smartphone, iPad, or nice camera.  Here are a few of my favorite tech items and accessories that range in dollar amounts to fit any gift giving budget!

Nike Fuel Band:  Keep track of your workouts and fuel points all the time.  Brad has this Fuel Band and it definitely helps keep him motivated to beat his set daily fuel points goal.

Sling Shooter: This might be the perfect camera strap.  It goes from a secure cinch to a flexible shooter in one move.  Plus they have designs for both men and women!

iPhone Case: Society 6, hands down, has the best iPhone case options around.  It has hard to pick a favorite, which is why this would make a great gift.  Then someone could pick out a new case for me, so I wouldn't have to make a decision!

Power Mate Plus:  Is an on the go backup iPhone battery for when your phone dies at the most inconvenient time.  The polk-a-dots are super adorable, but J. Crew also offers manly options too!

Une Bonbine:  Is it a phone cable?! Is it a tripod?! Wait for it... it's both!!! I am just in awe of this item.  Want and double want.

What items are you asking for / eyeing on the tech side of things?!

Cheers to Giving!

<3 BB


Holiday Cards!

My goal for the weekend is to get my Holiday Cards out.  I have already purchased cute ones from Target.... but I kind of want to find different ones after browsing the interwebs. I tend to stick to the more Holiday Neutral cards instead of ones that yell Merry Christmas at you.  That way my Jewish and other Non-Christmas celebrating friends don't get offended.  There is just something about getting a Christmas card in the mail that makes me happy and no, ones sent via email do not count.

Here are a few of my favorites...

Ok, it's official, I want to pick out new Christmas cards.  Do you send out Holiday cards?  Do they include a picture or a year in review? 

Cheers to Holiday Cards in the Snail Mail, 

<3 BB 


Tuesday Tunesday :: 12.11.12

Happy, happy Tunesday.  Or if you're in Oregon, it's more a gloomy, want to crawl back in bed with hot chocolate Tunesday.  So if you were looking for something more upbeat, go turn on Britney Spears Pandora, because you won't be finding it here today.  I blame my cold and the weather, but I am definitely in more of a low key music mood today.  Hope you are too!

Ed Sheeran :: Kiss Me 

I have really been on an Ed Sheeran kick the past few weeks, so it made my day when Vampire Diaries had this song on a recent episode.  (Yes, I watch VD. No, I don't care if you judge me for it.)

The Staves :: Mexico

Big fan of this British sister trio.  Thinking you should be too.  Their harmonies are lovely.

Iron & Wine :: Waiting For A Superman

This song is not new, in fact it isn't even Iron & Wine's song.  It's a Flaming Lips cover. But Iron & Wine makes a song go from good to hauntingly beautiful and that, my friends, takes talent.

Of Monsters and Men :: King and Lionheart 

If you've been following Tunesday for a moment now, you will know my love for Of Monsters and Men.  This session is just another reason why I love them so. I mean there is a trumpet in a living room.  Can't go wrong there.

The Lumineers :: KEXP Session 

This last one is a treat for you guys.  I saw the Lumineers live last week.  They rock.  Here is 20 + mins of them :) The according player is my favorite, obvs.  Plus, any music that features a lot of hey and ho is good music.


<3 BB


The S&S Aptartment Has A Tree

We have a tree, people!  Bradley and I are making moves in the world of Holiday Cheer.

This weekend was spent with the college roomies, which is one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend.  Plus, one of my roomies parents happen to live on a Christmas tree farm out in Banks, Oregon, so Sunday was spent picking out our favorite tree!

Schlegel Christmas Trees are the best Christmas Trees. 

The rain did not stop us from picking out the tree, but it did keep my friend Rachel in the car while we looked.

The Schlegel Tree Farm is a U-Cut farm, so naturally I made Brad get dirty do it. 

Don't worry though, I had the very important job of keeping it from falling over! Timber!!!! 

Growing up in the Umpqua National Forest, my family always made a day out of Christmas Tree Hunting.  We would take our sleds, go up in the snow, and my mom always managed to find the perfect tree in 5 feet of snow a half a mile off the road that my dad and brothers had the pleasure of carrying back to the truck.

Now, this wasn't quite the same experience, but it was still nice to actually cut the tree we wanted and was a lot more fun than picking out a pre-cut tree from a parking lot. 

We had to let it dry out a little bit before we could decorate it, but I plan on bringing the cheer tonight!!!! 

Happy Holidays! 

<3 BB


Hitting the Links :: Holiday Gift Edition


Happy Friday! To start off the weekend, I got you this Christmas Countdown (or Hanukkah Countdown for my Jewish friends!) 

Here are a few gifts that have a little personality and would be a great to way to spice up a home and kitchen! Plus, all of them are under 40 dollars, so you don't have to feel like you are breaking the bank when you spread the Holiday Cheer!

Gift List

::Since Bradley said goodbye to his Movember Mustache the my stache label would be a great gift for him.

::As you all know I love chevron stripes and I just assume everyone else does too.  How cute is this frame from Etsy?! Perfect for your bestie or sister.

::You know you are growing up when you get excited over nice cutting boards.  Jessi got me a personalized one from West Elm for my birthday and I think this one is also lovely (and on sale)! It would be a great gift for a friend or Grandma that loves to cook!

::Lastly, my love for Anthropologie runs deep, however, not as deep as my wallet goes.  So their bowls are a great way to incorporate a little Anthro decor into your home without breaking the bank.  Plus, One of my favorite things about their kitchenware is, it doesn't have to match so you can slowly collect their pieces and they all somehow flow together.  Nicely done, Anthro, nicely done. 

Also - hop on over to Jessi's blog to find out what gift to get your favorite Portland Hipster and Lesleigh's blog to find out how you should spend your weekend!

Cheers to Giving!

<3 BB


Being Festive on a Budget

So, I have this problem (you guys probably think I have more than one problem by now), when it comes to Holiday time, as soon as I walk into a store such as Target, Anthropolgie, etc.  I want to immediately buy every Holiday item they have out on display.  Damn you, impulse purchases.  Double damn, you for being the festive kind.

This year I am trying to incorporate Christmas Cheer into my life without hurting my budget.

Here are eight great ideas you can also try:

1 :: Drink hot cocoa.

You get bonus Holiday points if it is from a festive mug.  If I were to host a Holiday Party which I'm not I would definitely want to try this recipe for the hotchoc.

2 :: Listen to this song

Never fails to get me in the Christmas spirit, even if I happen to hear it in July.

3 :: Watch Christmas movies.

Elf was on TV the other night and it made my day.  Then, last night Brad surprised me while we were grocery shopping and put a triple pack of Christmas comedies in the cart.  We are now the proud owners of Elf, A Christmas Story, and Christmas Vacation. We also popped in Love Actually  while we made dinner.  This movie will forever make me happy.

4 :: Put up twinkle lights.  They are super inexpensive and easily add a pop of festive.


Triple the Holiday points if you happen to wrap them around Ryan G.

5 :: Hang stockings

I have had the same stocking since I was a tiny bebe.  My Grandma is a boss and has sewn each of her Grandchildren and now Great Grandchildren stockings. 

6 :: If you can't actually afford the Christmas tree this year or don't have the space, but have the ornaments...  Put them on display in a pretty bowl. 

7 :: Create your own Holiday banner. 

Now I know in the past my DIY skills have been sub-par, but this one should be pretty hard to mess up, since there are plenty of printable banners online from places like Esty for cheap or you can search Google to find free ones like this.  Just pick up some pretty Holiday paper from a craft or paper store to print it out on. 

8 :: Display any Holiday cards you may get in the snail mail this year. 

Holiday cards have really become creative and beautiful over the past few years.  Why not display the creativity?! 

Anyways, I am in full on Holiday Mode these days.  Hope you are too!

Cheers to Pops of Festive!

<3 BB